Case Study

SAP on Azure Cloud Transformation

Published On
May 22, 2017
United States of America
Life Sciences
Organization Size
Large (1000-9999 employees)
Cloud Migration



  • Reduced System availability due to unplanned downtimes and lack of highly available infrastructure
  • Longer system provisioning and system refresh times
  • High operations cost
  • No protection against disasters

The client is a Global Life Sciences company and a leader in scientific product development and education. With a mission statement to help change the world with their products, this company has developed many products that improved the quality of life for people around the world.

The client continues to experience unprecedented growth and demand for their products throughout the world; However, as a fast-growing company running SAP for their critical business, they faced constant challenges from their outsourced provider with the provisioning of new SAP landscapes and in supporting various business initiatives within the company.

Their SAP landscape consists of ECC, BW, CRM, TREX, Portal, PI, GRC, Vertex, Paymetric, GTS, Adobe, ATS, Fiori, QIM, Biller Direct, TDMS, SLD and Solution Manager running on a Windows/SQL platform in Europe (Outsourced Data centers). In 2015, as their business velocity accelerated (400% increase in sales), The client began searching for a more cost-effective, dynamically scalable, and reliable way to run their production SAP landscapes and other applications on a 24x7x365 with 99.9 availability.

While maintaining data centers across Europe for their SAP platform and USA for the Non-SAP platform, which they had virtualized using VMware software, the customer faced several challenges.

The major challenges were as follows:

  • Unplanned downtime for their 24x7 SAP Landscape
  • Longer New Server Provisioning time – 2 weeks
  • Longer SAP Systems Refresh / Copy time – 1 week (appx)
  • Lack of High Availability
  • No Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Overall High Cost for running SAP Infrastructure

Moreover, the outsourced hosting vendor did not provide any insights or transparency of their SAP landscape infrastructure and lacked flexibility in deploying and managing the SAP infrastructure. The SAP recovery time during planned or unplanned outage caused prolonged business interruption.

The client did not want to continue making investments in maintaining data centers, server farms and infrastructure technicians and began considering Cloud as a potential alternative.  They also wanted to find a more agile way to deliver IT by outsourcing SAP Basis and Cloud Infrastructure.

They decided to conduct an RFP process and Wharfedale Technologies was chosen to provide SAP Migration and Modernization along with 24x7 managed services.



  • Highly available (99.9%) and disaster protected SAP landscape in cloud
  • Minimal downtime SAP heterogeneous migration to cloud
  • Proactive end to end support including infrastructure and SAP applications.
  • No upfront costs to customer

Wharfedale is a strategic Gold Partner with Microsoft specializing in migrating and running SAP Workload on Azure.  Wharfedale works closely with Microsoft Azure Engineering team to optimize SAP and HANA workloads on Azure.

Wharfedale presented an end-to-end solution to the client which included evaluating their existing SAP landscapes running on their outsourced provider in Europe.  A feasibility study was performed to migrate their SAP landscape to Azure seamlessly with minimal impact to the business. Wharfedale is among the first to implement SAP Production and Non-Production (220+ Servers) on Public Cloud.

Wharfedale’s 74 factor SAP transformation methodology helped the client land their SAP landscape into Microsoft Azure Cloud in Europe.  This allowed the client to be compliant with Safe Harbor (EU-US Privacy Shield) policy by keeping their data in Europe. The solution also includes having their Disaster Recovery site in Europe to maintain compliance.  

Our unique experience and 74 factor methodologies helped the client save considerable licensing costs using Hybrid Use Benefit (EA / HUB Licensing).  In addition, this helped the client migrate their SAP landscape from their outsourced provider to Azure without incurring additional licensing costs.

To implement SAP High Availability by protecting SPOF (Single Point of Failure) with Enqueue Replication is a complex process. Performing this on Cloud is even more complex since there are no shared storage devices. Wharfedale’s extensive expertise in cloud design with High Availability provides 99.9% availability and protects the client SAP Single Point of Failure with their Enqueue Replication services.  Wharfedale maintained synchronous replication within the storage devices between primary and secondary nodes to provide 99.9% availability within cloud for SAP Production and critical systems in the landscape.

Wharfedale’s SAP Cloud Dashboard provides insights and visibility to the customer with real time cost and KPI’s. The dashboard also provides predictive analytics for landscape replication or cost optimization. Using Azure Cloud Elasticity, Wharfedale is able to handle the dynamic growth of the client’s business needs and provides the flexibility to bring idle systems down during off hours to save cost.

The client’s business demands constant refresh on their SAP non-prod systems with production data.  Wharfedale’s SCIF (SAP Cloud Image Factory) methodology helped the client get new servers provisioned instantaneously in Cloud and enabling the process to be reduced from weeks to hours.

The client wanted to move their SAP ECC and BW systems to HANA database as part of this transformation program. Wharfedale helped size HANA servers according to SAP HANA TDI (Tailored Data Center Integration) standards within Azure and used DMO (Database Migration Option) process to migrate their SAP to HANA.  Wharfedale followed SAP best practices to perform Mock Runs, Impact Analysis, Code Remediation, ABAP Changes and finally migration to HANA.

Wharfedale also created a Disaster Recovery solution for the client between West Europe and North Europe using both Azure Site Recovery Services and HANA Replication Services to support 2-hour RTO and 5-minute RTO requirements with fully automated failover and failback capability.

Value Proposition


  • Zero Dollar Down Migration Program
  • Seamless Migration from Current Hosting to New Hosting
  • SAP High Availability and Disaster Recovery Setup
  • EHP Technical Upgrade
  • HANA Migration (DMO migration to HANA)
  • Migration of 300+ SAP systems to cloud with very little business disruption
  • In budget migration with No upfront cost to customer

By opting into the Zero Dollar Down Migration Program the client received these deliverables with huge cost savings:

Seamless Migration from Current Hosting to New Hosting

  • Project Manager
  • Migration Planning Workshop
  • Migration Plan for Seamless Migration
  • Migration to New Hosting within 3 Months Maximum
  • All SAP landscape and Bolt-On’s
  • Testing and Validation of Migrated Systems    

SAP High Availability and Disaster Recovery Setup

  • High Availability Design based on BCP Hosting Providers
  • Implementation of High Availability (SIOS SANLESS Cluster)
  • SAP Single Point of Failure (SAP Replicated Enqueue)
  • Application Process Restart (Message Server)
  • Disaster Recovery Design based on Availability Zones
  • Seamless Failover implementation (Reduced Recovery Time Objective (RTO))
  • Testing Disaster Recovery & Creating Run book $ 240,000

SAP Infrastructure Detailed Design for New Hosting

  • Cloud Design
  • Server & Storage Design
  • Networking Design (VPN Tunnel to Primary & DR)
  • File System Design (SAP System Refresh)
  • Database Design (Both SQL & HANA)

Option of EHP Technical Upgrade or HANA Migration & Implementation

  • ECC EHP Upgrade including 3 Mock Migration (Dev, SBX, QA, Pre-Prod & PRODUCTION)


HANA Migration & Implementation

  • HANA Implementation
  • OSDB Migration using DMO Option
  • TDI Certification and Validation

High Value Consulting – Executive Engagements

  • Wharfedale (WFT) and Winterhawk (WHC) – Executive Practitioner involved at No Cost to the client to innovate and improve services

Wharfedale’s Unique Offerings also included the following for the client:

  • The client signed up for Azure Commit with Microsoft
  • The client signed with Wharfedale for SAP Managed Services

Wharfedale's SAP Managed Services included the following:

  • Design SAP infrastructure in Azure (Including Network Design)
  • Migration to Azure
  • Upgrade to HANA (Business Suite)
  • Operating Systems Upgrade
  • SAP System Refreshes
  • High Availability Setup
  • Disaster Recovery Setup
  • 24 x 7 x 365 SAP Infrastructure Support Services in Azure
  • 24 x 7 x 365 SAP Basis & Security Managed Services
  • SAP Cloud Real-time Dashboard (Cost and Performance)

Business Benefits


  • SAP system performance improved 52.89%
  • Uptime improved to 99.9%
  • Overall costs reduced 30%
  • Faster server provisioning (an hour vs days)
  • Faster System refreshes (few hours vs weeks)
  • High Availability for Critical SAP Landscapes including Production
  • Disaster Recovery for SAP Production Environment
  • Pay as You Go Model (PAYG) reduces TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for SAP Landscape
  • Dashboard for current costs and expected future costs with cost breakdown
  • World class managed services based on SAP Run SAP Like a Factory (RSLF) methodology

Wharfedale took the initiative to migrate the client SAP Landscape to Azure. The overall process was refined to ensure minimal downtime to the end users. Their servers were migrated in stages such as Development, QA, Validation and Production. The overall migration was completed in less than 3 months.

After moving to Azure, the client experienced several benefits:

  • Improved Performance (Production up to 52.89%)
  • Azure guaranteed 99.9% uptime
  • Server provisioning within hours to help support business growth
  • Systems Refreshes timeline reduced from weeks to hours
  • High Availability for Critical SAP Landscapes including Production
  • Disaster Recovery capabilities for SAP Production Environmento
  • Pay as You Go Model (PAYG) helps to reduce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for SAP Landscape
  • Dashboard provides clear picture of overall customer SAP Infrastructure current and future spending with Azure
  • Dashboard provides Cost Breakdown by SAP Landscapes and each resource used within Azure
  • Enabled Run SAP Like a Factory (RSLF) under Solution Manager as part of our managed services